Career Transition-
Chef turned UX Designer

Little did I know.. that "tossing pasta"🍝 will end up getting me in design🎨
Sharing my design journey with you so that it inspires to take that leap of faith.

Priyanka Kumari
UI/UX Designer

When I decided to switch careers from chef to UX designer, I knew it's not going to be a small change.
It was pretty much of my kind as I stepped into it. 

But, the more I studied UX design, the more I got to know that I’ve been applying UX principles during my Chef journey.

Common let me tell you why am I saying this.(If you don't believe me..)

So if we’re talking about design, aesthetics play a major role.In culinary terms we call it food presentation, plating, menu designing, buffet arrangements and so on.

Color

We serve our eyes first, after all; so it’s the wisest chef who studies color theory.Obviously chefs don’t emphasise on particular color tones, unlike graphic designers do using color palettes.

But how to pair an element’s color(like a leafy green lettuce)  with the other one is what we know to perfection.(okay! near to perfection)

So here I had a plus point as I was well versed with color pairings and color theory. With those fundamentals out of the way, I could tackle the more technical side of color.

Height/Depth

My chef mentor always told me that when plating(like plating a salad ), you should always think in three dimensions.

Flat is obsolete. Height, depth, and elevation can take it to the next level and  turn it memorable.

Whitespace

Literally all chefs use negative space on a plate(of any sort) to attract the gaze where they want it. 

Whitespace on a plate displays confidence; while a crowded plate shows lack of passion.

It goes the same way in design as we give design some space to breathe.

Hierarchy

Good restaurant menu cards follow the same design principles as good website landings and mobile interfaces.

By using visual hierarchy, we can make certain elements seem more important and prominent, thus grabbing user’s attention.

Color, size, contrast, and whitespace all function the exact same way… only with menus, they are on a piece of paper showcasing dishes.

Functionality

For restaurants, the guest experience is functionality.

I’d even tell my restaurant staff that our job was to create great memories.Food quality,service, ambiance, cleanliness, wait time.

They all play a major role in shaping the experience of the guest. If one is insufficient, another better be extraordinary.

For example, even though Sushian’s sushi is great, I just can’t endure the ridiculous wait. (So you got me right!)

I hope this gives you or my fellow career changers some vision.
Job transitions are Siachen battles, especially when breaking into a specialised field. 

And it’s all too easy to go through anxiety and question yourself every other day, because you lack a design degree, or don’t have a designer work experience.

So locate those building blocks from your experiences, and be creative.

You never know — you might build something awesome.

But above all that, you have that power (I call it- “you can do it power”)  inside you which enables you to build a creative path.